Pop quiz! What do the following phrases have to do with each other?
Train Wreck, Chicken Old Ladies on a Bus, Chicken Wiggle, Garbage, Slumgillion, and my favorite, Goopy Boobs.=
Hint…it has to do with food… (duh!)
They’re all names of casseroles! Can you believe it? I mean, I know the phrase “Goopy Boobs” can really conjure up an appetite and all, but still. If you’re interested in knowing what is actually in these casseroles, you’ll have to do a little research because that’s not what this post is about. Sorry Charlie, just thought I’d have a little fun. But, what I do want to do is share a casserole with you that has a real name made with real food, bacon even.
I’m pretty sure that smacking the word smothered at the beginning of any recipe means that it’s going to be good and this chicken casserole is no exception. It’s a creamy pasta casserole with gruyere cheese, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, caesar marinated chicken breasts and bacon. It’s creamy, flavorful, fresh, and just slightly naughty. If you want to lower the naughtiness factor, evaporated or whole milk will work well as a substitute but using milk with any less fat (2%, etc) could cause it to separate and become grainy. I say live a little and eat a salad! Are you with me?
You’ll need 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Place them in a ziplock bag…
Pour in a 1/2 cup of your favorite caesar salad dressing and mix it around. Cardini’s is by FAR my favorite. Let the chicken marinade for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
Once you’re ready to get cooking, fry up 4 pieces of bacon and remove from the pan to drain.
Pouring off all but about 2 tbsp of the bacon fat from the pan, heat it back up to medium high and brown your marinated chicken. Just a few minutes on each side will do- you’re not trying to cook the meat all the way through, just getting some color on it. Remove the chicken from the pan once browned and place in your casserole dish.
Going back to the same pan you cooked the chicken in, you may now pour out any remaining bacon fat. You do still want all the yummy caramelized bits left at the bottom of the pan so don’t wash it quite yet. Place the pan back on the stove and add a bit of butter. Once the butter is melted add in the onions and mushrooms and let cook until they are softened and starting to caramelize. Stir in some flour and let cook for minute. (Let’s pretend this picture has mushrooms and onions in the pan. I had to saute them separately and stir them in at the end because I’m a dope. Not cool, Heather, not cool.)
Once the flour has cooked for a minute, stir in the chicken broth and cream and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the casserole dish and top with fresh tomatoes.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes uncovered until the sauce is bubbling and chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is in the oven , cook a pound of angel hair pasta. Remove chicken from the oven and stir in cooked pasta. Top with crumbled bacon and more fresh parsley.
Do you know of any wacky-named casseroles? Do share! It was fun trying to find the ones above.
Smothered Chicken Casserole
- 1/2 C prepared caesar salad dressing
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 slices bacon
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 1 C onion diced
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 C chicken broth
- 1 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 C Gruyere cheese grated
- 2 C fresh tomatoes diced
- 1/4 C fresh parsley minced
- 1 lb angel hair pasta
Marinade chicken breasts in caesar dressing for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
Cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan and drain off all but about 2 tbsp of the fat. Heat pan to medium-high heat.
Remove chicken from marinade and cook in bacon fat until well browned. You don't have to cook the chicken through, just get some color on it. Remove chicken from pan and place in casserole dish.
Drain off all the bacon fat from the pan and add 3 tbsp of butter. Once melted stir in the onion and mushrooms. Cook until soft and starting to caramelize- 5-7 minutes.
Stir 3 tbsp of flour into the onions and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute.
Stir broth and cream into the flour mixture, bring to boil -constantly stirring- for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice, cheese, and parsley and pour over the chicken in the casserole dish. Top with fresh tomatoes and bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and chicken is cooked through.
While the chicken is baking, cook 1 lb angel hair pasta on the stove-top and drain.
Remove chicken from the oven, stir pasta into the sauce and serve topped with crumbled bacon and more fresh parsley.